MEXICO CITY (AP) — Fernando Gonzalez, a veteran video journalist who has spent more than 30 years covering Latin America and the Caribbean, has been named to a new role as The Associated Press' deputy news director for the region.
Gonzalez, who has been the AP's regional video editor for Latin America and the Caribbean based in Washington, D.C., since 2014, will help lead the cooperative's newsgathering operation in all formats from its regional hub in Mexico City.
The appointment was announced Wednesday by Latin America News Director Paul Haven.
"Fernando brings decades of experience in Latin America and a deep knowledge of our video operations to this important, new all-format role," Haven said. "He will be a valuable leader both in the region and in the AP's larger efforts to create a truly cross-format culture that puts the needs of our customers first."
In his new role, Gonzalez will lead day-to-day coverage of the region, set daily priorities in all formats and manage and develop staff and budget issues. He will help focus the region on storytelling that is more visual and mobile-friendly, with cutting-edge enterprise and fast, accurate spot coverage.
"As we continue to help AP's customers by providing more content that is shareable in the social and mobile age, having someone with Fernando's strong visual skills and a proven track record in leadership is key to our success," said Sandy MacIntyre, AP Vice President and Director of Global Video. "Fernando brings all of that and more to the table."
As regional video editor, Gonzalez, 54, oversaw news coverage and production from 27 AP video staffers and more than 60 freelancers in the region.
Prior to that he was AP's senior producer in Havana, Cuba, where he directed video coverage for 11 years.
In his long career, the Uruguayan-born Gonzalez has covered many of the region's biggest stories, including the 1996 hostage siege at the Japanese ambassador's residence in Peru and Hurricane Mitch's devastating impact on Central America.
In 2007 Gonzalez reported from Antarctica on the visit of Ban Ki-moon, the first U.N. secretary-general to travel there to personally see the effects of global warming on the polar ice caps.
Gonzalez also covered three papal trips to Cuba by St. John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis, as well as President Barack Obama's historic visit this spring to cement a diplomatic thaw between Washington and Havana after decades of hostility.